Maui Community College named national finalist for Bellwether Award in workforce development

National award honors innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future

Maui College
Katie McMillan, (808) 984-3549
Marketing and Community Relations
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jan 15, 2008

KAHULUI, Maui, Hawaiʻi - Maui Community College‘s Sustainable Living Institute of Maui (SLIM) has been named one of 10 national finalists for the 2008 Bellwether Award in the Workforce Development category. The Bellwether Awards are presented annually to innovative programs and practices that are successfully leading community colleges into the future. The 2008 winners will be announced at the 2008 Community College Futures Assembly, January 26-29, 2008, in Orlando, Florida.

The awards are presented in three categories—Instructional Programs & Services; Planning, Governance & Finance; and Workforce Development. SLIM is recognized for its entry entitled, "Sink or SLIM: Sustainability Model," and was identified for its innovative approaches to sustainability and for anticipating the related workforce and institutional development needs. The Workforce Development category honors public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development.

As a finalist, SLIM will present its program and evidence of program results at the Assembly. These program results and the presentation will be used in selecting the final award recipients, which will be announced at an awards luncheon. Selected presentations will also be published in the Community College Journal of Research and Practice.

The 10 finalists in each of the three categories were selected based upon how well their programs addressed the 2008 conference theme, identified critical issues, and published criteria. The 2008 conference theme, "Change or Die," revolves around current issues faced by community colleges including enrollment growth, budget shortfalls, and calls for increased accountability, and is based upon a book of the same name by the conference‘s keynote speaker, Alan Deutschman.

Maui‘s "Sink or SLIM: Sustainability Model" highlighted the college‘s efforts to facilitate and promote a variety of sustainability initiatives on campus and in the community at large. These efforts included hosting the IXth Islands of the World Conference; its theme: Sustainable Islands, Sustainable Strategies. Attended by over 230 participants and scholars from 35 island nations, the conferees created the Maui Declaration, a basis for sustainability principles.

SLIM also created a scholar and intern program that provides housing and stipends to scholars from institutions around the globe to work with Maui CC and local Maui high school interns to address a range of sustainability challenges. These and other events and initiatives address SLIM‘s goals of sustainability education and community outreach, as well as expose prospective students to workforce opportunities in sustainability related fields.

The Community College Futures Assembly is sponsored by the University of Florida Institute for Higher Education. For more information about the Assembly and the 2008 Bellwether Awards, visit

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